Seminar in Comparative Archaeology

September 16, 2016 - 12:00pm to 3:00pm

The first meeting of the annual Seminar in Comparative Archaeology will take place on Friday September 16th, from 12-3pm in the Anthro Lounge. This year's Visiting Scholar in the Center for Comparative Archaeology is Jess Beck (PhD, University of Michigan 2016). The topic of the year-long seminar is:

"Inequality and the body in archaeology and bioarchaeology" 

This class is designed to appeal broadly to archaeologists, bioarchaeologists, and others interested in how inequality is manifested physically in the body.  Rather than attempting to cover bioarchaeology comprehensively, we will explore a handful of selected topics, which serve as examples of different axes of individual inequality that were related to specific transitions in the past or specific lines of anthropological inquiry about past society.

** All faculty and students are encouraged to participate**

Course description: This seminar uses a bioarchaeological lens to explore the ways in which social inequalities manifest in the human body, weaving together contributions from ethnography, material culture studies, and mortuary archaeology to ‘flesh out’ studies of human remains. We will examine how particular aspects of social identity (e.g. gender, childhood) amplify or diminish inequalities in different contexts. We will also read a range of case studies that illustrate how trajectories of increasing social inequality vary over time and space, examining how large-scale social processes (e.g. aggregation, warfare, colonialism) impact human bodies. Overall, the course will analyze how social inequalities become embodied in human skeletal remains while also being shaped by social, ecological, and economic factors.

Topics to be addressed in the coming months include:
- Embodying Inequality: Bioarchaeological approaches to inequality.
- Bioarchaeology Workshop.
Engendering Disparity: Gender, labor, and violence.
The Age of Innocence? Childhood identity and experience from a bioarchaeological perspective
The Dead Don't Bury Themselves: Mortuary treatment, social organization, and inequality.


Location and Address

Anthropology Lounge